Here’s three players with relatively low ownership rates that could be a big boost to your team…
Gio Gonzalez | Athletics | SP | 30% owned
Gonzalez came into the season as Oakland’s fifth starter with 132.2 absolutely dreadful (6.24 ERA, 1.704 WHIP) big league innings to his credit, and his first three starts of the season were more of the same. Since then, Gio has turned it on and has quietly been on of the league’s best starters since April. His ERA sits at 2.72 (~3.40 FIP) over his last six starts, and he’s doing it with a little BABIP luck (.260) and the big breaking curveball that made him so highly regarded in the first place.
David examined Gonzalez earlier this month, and he’s continued his development into a viable big league starter. It’s probably too late to grab him in time for tonight’s start against the Orioles, but there’s still another 20 or so to go.
Anibal Sanchez | Marlins | SP | 14%
One of the other guys the Fish received in the Josh Beckett–Hanley Ramirez deal, Sanchez went from no-hit kid to the surgeon’s table in less than two years, and he’s just now rounding back into form. The righty had a pair of five run outings in his first two starts, but since then he’s dropped a 2.27 ERA (~2.60 FIP) on opponents in seven starts. Sanchez’s strikeout rate has steadily decreased since shoulder surgery (6.79 K/9), but the walks have followed along (down to 3.23 BB/9) while his GB% remains very strong on 44.2%. His next start comes against the suddenly offensively challenged Phillies on Sunday.
Josh Willingham | Nationals | OF | 36%
There’s only eight players in the NL with a wOBA over .400, and for the most part it’s guys you’d expect to be there. Ryan Braun, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, so on and so forth. Not to be lost in that mix is The Hammer, who owns a .422 wOBA thanks to a league leading 34 walks. He’s even stolen four bases for good measure. Willingham’s 18.7 BB% is second in the NL to Chipper Jones, and is a function of not just swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone (15% O-Swing% in 2010 compared to 18% career), but also seeing getting fewer pitches in the zone in general (44% this year, 50.7% career). Chances are he’s already owned if your league counts OBP, but even beyond that his power (8 HR, .234 ISO) and RBI (29) prowess have plenty of value for you non-OBPers.
Ownership rates is based on Yahoo! leagues.